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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"


oxygen and hydrogen which are derived from the analysis of water
are no longer water; they are two gases, each possessing its own
properties and being able to exist alone. When we speak then of
the analysis of factors, we mean separating out the elements of
which writing is composed into interesting exercises which may by
themselves constitute motives to induce activity in children. This,
is a very different thing from the analyses which have been intended
to break up a whole into parts considered as incomplete details of
the whole and therefore devoid of interest, (strokes, curves, etc.).
Instead of that, our analysis of factors makes every factor live in
an independent exercise. It separates, but it seeks in the separa-
tion for elements which can exist by themselves, and which can be
applied to exercises having a rational end in view.


I profited by that childish liking for filling in figures drawn
in outline by means of marks made with coloured pencils. This
is the most primitive form of drawing, or rather it is the pre-
cursor of drawing, and our children had already done this filling
in drawings given in their outline. But now to make such worlc
more interesting, I arranged that the children themselves should
draw the outlines of the figures to be filled in so as to secure
for the outlines an aesthetic order, allowing the child to make its
own. For this purpose I prepared certain material, the iron
insets, (the description of which will follow later) which provide
for the tracing of the geometrical figures. That has given place to-
a decorative design which we have called * the art of the insets *
and which in no way seems to be included in direct preparation
for writing.


For the other group of movements, that is, for the drawing,
of graphic signs, I offer to the child material which consists of